Bossfight: Allstate Insurance enters the Right to Repair fight, loans its lobbyists to fight Apple

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I’ve always found references to the David/Goliath story to be wrong-headed. Goliath never had a chance. David, as a shepherd, would have been skilled in the sling, using it to fend off predators of his flock. Goliath would never have even gotten near him.



Knife to a gunfight, right?

This is pretty cool. Allstate is betting against the house. Doesn’t make them a good guy, but it’s a start.


The link actually goes back to the article on BB. Here’s the real original article on Motherboard:


Wait! What’s this? A huge, Huge, HUGE corporation getting into the right to repair fray?

Now in Good Hands?

Man I thought this said ‘lends their lobbyists to support apple’ and was thoroughly confused about how Allstate could end up on the wrong side of this argument.

…That all said though, them ending up on the right side of it is pretty bizarre too.

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Mr. Gladwell, is that you?

It’s not entirely surprising:

The viability of an independent repair is a pretty significant factor for someone selling insurance for an item: if it’s not viable you are selling a more or less pure risk pooling product. That’s certainly a thing, some insurance specifically covers irreparable objects or cases of total loss, and there are plenty of customers who can afford to pay a premium based on their odds of needing to make a claim more readily than they can risk having to out-of-pocket a replacement; but it excludes all the cases of things valuable enough and/or cheap enough to repair that you could cover a lot of claims with repairs rather than replacements or payments of item value. (Things like houses and cars are bigger ticket items; but personal electronics have massive ubiquity going for them).

In that sense a fight over 3rd party repair is a fight over whether this insurance company’s future will include being able to cover repairable objects at reasonably competitive premiums or not.

If 3rd party repairs are viable; they have the option of making or farming out those, or getting favorable 1st party rates from vendors who know that 3rd party competitors are a factor they can’t ignore. If they are not; an insurer who doesn’t actually make the widget in question is largely at the mercy of the vendor who does, since the vendor will always have a competitive advantage on repair costs, or the option to simply not offer repair.

This is probably of extra concern to an insurer when outfits like electronics vendors and carriers are already getting into what is basically insurance, though not called by that name: basically anything beyond a straight ‘warrantied against defects’ level of coverage. Things like “Applecare+” or “Applecare+ with theft and loss”; and analogous offerings. That’s effectively a chunk of what would historically have been the insurance market being occupied by non-insurers, and ones that already have a pretty solid position(Apple is, after all, pretty good at iphones even if they aren’t sandbagging the competition; and if they are their advantage is likely to be insurmountable in many cases).

Insurance companies probably don’t want that spreading any further(and it’s not like cars wouldn’t be an obvious next step if they were able to put teeth behind most maintenance and repair being dealership/first party parts only); and probably are also aware of the potential for something that starts out addressing a different industry’s need(the requirement to provide warranty coverage) to morph into a profitable area of business that ends up being quite different(more or less full insurance offerings backed by the fact that they can beat everyone else on the cost of cases where repair is viable).

An analogy would probably be the expansion of car manufacturers into financial products: started out as a fairly basic need to get people buying things they often didn’t have cash in hand for; turned into a side of the business that rivaled the part that actually manufactures cars. They probably wouldn’t want warranties to do that to insurance; and the path for them to do so is quite plausible if 3rd party repair can be frozen out(it’s already pretty likely without that; with it it would be overwhelming).


Also we should stop telling people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, because that’s the definition of a physically impossible task.


I can see why an insurance company would join this fight. Repairing a customer’s damaged property will often be cheaper than replacing it. This could save them a LOT of money in the long term. It could also take a bite out of insurance fraud by reducing the “I’ll get a new one from my insurance company” incentive.

Naturally there will be plenty of people with poorly repaired devices complaining about it. This happens all the time with auto insurance.


“Protection” comes to mind.

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